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U.S.- Myanmar Burma Relations

Series/Special. A discussion on the democratic transition and U.S. assistance. With Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Boehner 13, Us 12, Obama 8, Joe Biden 6, Harry Reid 5, Washington 5, Mcconnell 4, John Boehner 4, Mitch Mcconnell 4, America 3, Barack Obama 3, Biden 3, United States 2, Newt Gingrich 2, Eric Cantor 2, David Gregory 2, Nancy Pelosi 2, Valerie Jarrett 2, Erskine Bowles 2, Romney 2,
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  CSPAN    U.S.- Myanmar Burma Relations    Series/Special. A discussion on the democratic transition  
   and U.S. assistance. With Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung...  

    September 22, 2012
    11:55 - 1:10am EDT  

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knocking on the door heaven looking for the path that leads me home some good heart those good intentions to act u pon we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flag is flown in we take care of our own
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from a shotgun shack to the superdome there ain't no help we take care of our own we take care of our own and wherever this flag is flown we take care of our own ♪ ♪ where the eye has the will to see
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where is the love that has not forsaken me? my hearts, my hands, my soul free from sea to shining sea wherever this flag is flown wherever this flag is flown wherever this flag is flown we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flood is blown -- flag is flown we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flag is flown we take care of our own ♪
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♪ [song changes] ♪ coming up over new york city
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school bus driver in a traffic jam staring at the faces in the rearview mirror looking at the promise of the promised land >> michelle obama had landed dinner at the congressional black caucus. the annual conference gathered community leaders to discuss the challenges facing the african- american community. this is about 25 minutes. >> i want to thank congressman cleaver for the attending were.
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i also want to recognize your terrific cbc foundation president and ceo. [applause] and of course i want to congratulate this year's phoenix award winners, attorney general holder, congresswoman round, and george lucas. thank you for your outstanding contributions to our nation. we look forward to hearing from you all later this evening. i also want to take a moment to note the passing of a true leader in this caucus, congressman donald payne. he was a distinguished member of congress. the visionary chairman of the cdc. his presence is sorely missed. i want to recognize all of the cbc members who are here with us tonight.
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you are part of a proud tradition, one that dates back not just to the founding of this caucus, but to the beginning of some any improbable journey is of all congress. take congressman john lewis for example. he was the son of -- yes, indeed. [applause] he was the son of sharecroppers. during to become a preacher, he gave impassioned sermons to the chickens on his family's farm. another was raised by a widowed mother in cleveland public housing. -- congressman lewis stokes. he served during the army. although he bought under the same flight, he still had to eat, sleep, and travel separate and apart from his fellow soldiers.
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then there is barley he almost a not make it into this world. -- barbara lee who almost didn't make it into the world. winner mother was in labor -- when your mother was in labor, a hospital refused to admit her. from some in the unlikely places, member of this caucus rose up and lived out their own version of the great american dream. this is why they came here to washington. they came because they're determined to give others the same chance.
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they were determined to open that opportunity even wider. they believed there was no higher calling there is no more noble cause than that of our fellow citizens. this work was not always easy, especially in the early years when members of this caucus face challenges they never could of anticipated. back in the early 70's, he had an african-american woman added to this committee. the chairman added just one seat to the committee room. he forced the two of them to share it. he was unfazed. he said "let's not give these guys the luxury of getting under our skin. let's share this chair as it is the most normal thing in the world." since its earliest days, this caucus has been taking on challenges and leading the way in the urgent work of protecting our unions, fighting for jobs and health care, working to get all our children opportunities or the of their promise.
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it earned in the proud distinction of the conscious of conagra's. back when our grandparents were writing that underground railroad, when jim clyburn was sitting in an orange jail, the injustices we face were written in big letters. while we may have had our differences over strategy, the battles we needed to fight were very clear. we knew that to end slavery we needed a proclamation from our president and an amendment to our constitution. it to end segregation, we needed the congress to overturn the lie of separate but equal. we need congress to pass the voting rights act. we move forward. with the progress that our parents and grandparents could never have dreamed of.
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today, while there are no more white only signs keeping us out, we know that our journey is far from finished. yes. [applause] in many ways, this is far less clear.
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what exactly do we do about children who are languishing in crumbling schools? what about kids bring up in neighborhoods with a to not have opportunities worthy of their dreams? what about the 40's are of black children who are overweight or obese -- 40% of the black children who are overweight or obese that's what laws can be passed to ended those wrongs? today the connection between our laws and our lives is not always as obvious as it was 50 or 100 years ago. our legislators have all been one. it is tempting to turn our focus solely to what is going on in our own lives. make no mistake about it, change absolutely starts at home.
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we know that. it starts with each of us taking responsibility for ourselves and family. we know our kids will not go up healthy and sell our family grows up and starts eating right and exercising. we will not close that education gap until we turn off the television unsupervised that homework. we absolutely cannot stop there. he we all know better than anyone our laws still matter. much like they did 150 years ago. our laws still shapes so many aspects of our lives. whether our kids have clean air and state streets or not, whether we truly focus on the challenge of getting folks back to work or not, whether our sons and daughters get the benefit they earned or not.
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these are made by folks in our state houses and in our congress and white house. who is responsible for collecting those? who is ultimately responsible for decisions they make or do not make? we are. that is our job. s. citizens of this great country, that is our most fundamental right, our most solemn obligation. we passed on this role of a billy clubs, risking his life so we could one day cast our ballots. as he put it, your vote is
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precious. it is the most powerful non- alignment tool we have to create a more perfect union. [applause] only as someone to vote, and they say i am too busy. besides, i voted last time. not like my vote is going to make a difference. after so many folks sacrificed so much so that we could make our voices heard, too many of us still choose not to participate. let us be clear. while we are turning out and staying home on election day, other folks are tuning in. other folks are taking politics very seriously.
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they are engaged on every level. they are raising money. they are in constant dialogue with elected officials. understandably, it can start to feel like ordinary voices cannot be heard in like regular folks cannot get a seat at the table. we are here tonight because we know that simply is not true. time and again history has shown us that there is nothing more powerful than ordinary citizens coming together for a just cause. i'm not just talking about the big speeches and protests we remember. i am talking about everything that happened between the marches when the speeches were over in cameras were off.
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i'm talking about the thousands of hours that people like dr. kean in so many of you -- like dr. king and so many of you late at night, who gave thousands of lives to perfect strangers, those who walk miles on taking seats. the volunteers to set up drinking fountains. may 80,000 that lunches for people who marched on that day. thanklessg about the work and making change. you know that the door knocking the kind of work. that is the real work of democracy. what happened during those quiet moments between the marches? that is how we carry on the precious legacy we have inherited.
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by recommiting ourselves to that day to day work that has always paved the way for a change in this country. that means being informed. it means following the news, learning about who is representing us and tell our government works. it means showing up to vote. not just every four years, but every year in every election. you do not make progress by standing on the sidelines. active and passionate citizenship engagement is at the core of our democracy. that is the whole point. it is the first three words of the preamble to our constitution "we the people." many of men and women sacrifice so we could be included in that "we" and we owe it not just to ourselves but to them to exercise the right to be fought and died for.
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when it comes to cast our ballots, it cannot just be "we the people who had time to spare on election day." it must be all of us. that is our birthright as citizens of this great nation. we all get a say in our democracy in a matter who we are or where we're from or where we look like or who we love. we cannot let anyone discourage us from casting our balance.
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we cannot let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. it is us to make sure that in every election, every voice is heard in every vote is counted. that is making sure our laws preserve that right. it been monitoring the polls to make sure every eligible voter can exercise that right. make no mistake about it. this is the march of our time. marching door-to-door, registering people to vote. marching everyone your note to the polls every single election. that is the set and of our day, sitting in a phone bank calling everyone you know, that you haven't seen in a while. that class may you have not spoken to. making sure they all know how to register and where to vote. and every objection, this is the movement of our era, protecting the fundamental rights for the next generation and generation to come.
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in the end, it is not just about who wins or who loses or who we vote for on election day. it is about who we are as americans. it is about the democracy we want to leave for our kids and grandkids. is about doing everything we can do to carry on the legacy that is our inheritance as american. as citizens of the greatest country on earth. as you know, i continue to uphold our legacy requires constant and sustained it struggle and hard work. it requires a never ending patience and determination. here is the thing. when you get tired, and you will, when you start to get discouraged, i want you to think about the members of this caucus.
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i want you to think about the congressmen sitting cheek to cheek debating and legislating like he owned the place. how he went from a soldier in a segregated army to a senior member of the appropriations committee. i want to think about a boat so that hangs in the west wing of the white house -- a photograph that hangs in the west wing of the white house. it is a picture of a young black family visiting the family in the oval office. the father was a member of the white house staff. he brought his family in to meet my husband. in the photo, barack obama is bent over at the waist. one of the suns, and little boy about five years old, is reaching out his tiny hand to touch my husband's head.
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it turns out that upon meeting barack obama, and this little boy gazed up at him and said "i want to know if my here is just like yours -- hair is just like yours." barack replied and said "why don't you touch it and see for yourself?" barack obama bit down. the little boy explains "yes, it does feel the same." the white house photographers changed at all the photos in the west wing except for that one. that one has hung on the wall for more than three years.
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if you ever wonder whether change is possible, i want you to think about that little black boy in the office of the white house touching the head of the first black president. [cheers and applause] as we mark the 150 it anniversary of the emancipation proclamation, the one you remember the house they were standing in, the house my family has the privilege of living in, that house was built in part by slaves. the beauty is children walk through that house and passed by that photo. they think nothing of it because that is all they have ever known.
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they have grown up taking for granted that an african-american can the president of the united states of america. isn't that part of the great american story? it is the story of risk taking progress from one generation to the next, the story of unwavering hope. it is the story of men and women who said to themself "i might not the film my dream, but if i stand strong on this bridge, if i endure another night in his jail cell that may be my children will fulfil their dreams, maybe my grandchildren will." there's a verse in hebrew that says "all these people were still living by faith when they died." they did not receive the things promised. the only saw them and welcome them in the distance.
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they're all the many heartbreaks and trials, you have kept the faith. you could only see the promised land from a distance. you never let it out of your sight. today if we are willing to work for it, if we are willing to sacrifice for it, then i know we can carry on that legacy. i know that we can meet our obligation to continue the struggle. i know we can finish the journey we started and felt the promise of our democracy for all of our children. thank you. god bless. ♪ ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> millions of students are paying less for college because we took on a system that with the billions in tax payer dollars using banks and lenders as middlemen. let's -- we said let's give the money to students and help more young people get an education. >> we have to mature workers have the skills they need for today and that our kids are getting an education that will allow them to compete tomorrow. that means it is time for us to put the kids and their parents and teachers first and the teachers' union behind. press the first debates between presidential candidates mitt romney and president barack obama as less than two weeks away. wednesday, october 3.
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from the university of denver. questions focus on domestic policy. what ending date with c-span, including our live debate preview starting at 7 east and all the by the debate at 9:00. post-debate, a reactions and comments. follow our live coverage on c- span, radio and online at c- span.org. >> former virginia governor tim kane and former senator george allen faced each other thursday night in one of four scheduled senate debates. that a political report rates this race as a tossup. >> the standard bearer of the republican party -- he said 47% of americans are too dependent on government and to themselves as victims. do you share that vision of america and what would you do to do with that 47%? >> the best social program of all is a job. how do you provide more job opportunities for people?
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>> do you think half of the country sees themselves as victims? >> i don't. >> you would part company with governor romney? >> i have my own point of view. my own point of view is the people of america still believe in the american dream. our responsibility as leaders of public servants is to make sure this is a country where everyone has equal opportunity to compete and succeed and pursue their dreams. the way i look at it, i think you look at the record. he was created more opportunities? i mentioned welfare reform. those are folks who were down and out and temporarily needed help. we want to help a score able minded and able-bodied. even those who are disabled want to work. that is a natural with one of the great characteristic of all americans. they do not look at themselves as victims. they want a government that
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reflect their values and gives them the opportunity to reach their aspirations and be that role model. >> ticket lama for a bottle per >> i do not think the question of whether governor -- >> take a moment for rebuttal. >> they were divisive comments. we have seen too much divisive politics iraq's moderated by david gregory, this debate is courtesy of wrc-tv. once the entire debate monday at 8:00 eastern on c-span. --w atch the entire debate monday at 8:00 eastern on and c-span3 >> now, "the price of politics," and bob woodward on washington journal. it is about 55 minutes.
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host: bob woodward is the author of "the price of politics." what is the story you're trying to tell here? guest: the daily reporting is exceptionally good or the long pieces capture a lot but we run by history and we do not know what really happened and i have the luxury of time and can dig back in and this is an examination of what obama and the congress have done for this period -- for 3 1/2 years, from the beginning of the administration to the summer.
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host: what is the central part of this story? guest: the drama is this affects everyone. get control of the spending instead of -- we are on a binge now, a spending binge. we cannot keep borrowing all of this money. it describes in painful detail the meetings and phone calls and the internal discussions. a lot of discussion inside the white house. you see what they are doing. last summer on the effort to get congress to increase the authorization for spending and borrowing. the president has a private meeting with his senior staff. it is called by the people in the white house the king solomon moment.
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the president says that he is like king solomon. he cannot divide the baby. he has to do something to stabilize the economy. he has less leverage in these negotiations. that realization is accurate. you can see his reasoning and the debate within the white house. host: the role of john boehner last year. guest: he went to the president and he proposed tax reform, and the president said he was willing to go along with the entitlement reform. half the book is this 44 days, and economic cuban missile crisis where they are trying to do something. the end result is to push everything off, all the tough decisions to 2013. host: they come up with the sequestration plan.
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now we're at a point where automatic spending cuts go through january, 2013. we went back into the c-span archives to illustrate your coverage. president obama comes before the cameras and so does john boehner. the reaction to that. [video clip] >> i did not see a path to a deal if they do not budge. if the basic proposition is, it is "my way or the highway, we will probably not get it done." if in fact mitch mcconnell and john boehner are sincere that they do not want to see u.s. government default, they have to compromise, just like democrats have to compromise.
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>> the president continues to insist on raising taxes. they are not serious about entitlement reform. i want to get there. i want to do what i think is in the best interests of the country. it takes two to tangle. >> this will take political capital on both sides. i am willing to take my fair share of it. let's step up and do the right thing for the country. host: what is going on behind the scenes? guest: so much.
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they having meetings. he goes down to the white house. they have a meeting on the patio off the oval office. boehner is having merlo and having a cigarette in the president is having ice-t and chewing a nicorette. they start the process. politics intervenes. the politics is the president cannot control the democratic party and boehner cannot control the house republicans. it is fascinating to hear their internal debates in the capital and then down in the white house.
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you see them coming together and i have elaborate notes from meetings and discussions. you can see there is a level of seriousness and engagement that no one had the stamina to do the details and make sure that this worked. it was convenient for everyone to put off until 2013 so it would not be an election issue, so no one would be having advance or enacted a law that involved pain. host: fast for 11 days later. president obama comes out before the cameras. take a look. [video clip] >> this was an extraordinarily fair deal.
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if it was on balance, it was on balance in the direction of not enough revenue. but in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party. i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday. they were willing to engage in serious negotiations. despite a lot of heat from interest groups from the country to make sure that we dealt with this problem. it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away
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from this kind of deal. look at the commentary out there. a lot of republicans are puzzled as to what it could not get done. host: speaker boehner has his own response on the same day. [video clip] >> we have but plan after plan on the table. we had our plan out there. house passed the cut cap and balance. never once did the president come to the table with a plan. we were always pushing. sometimes it is good to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest. i came back away from the tree to take a look at the forest. i consulted with my fellow leaders and others about the way to go forward. i want to tell you what i said several weeks ago. dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jell-o.
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guest: the back story is an laws. six senators propose more revenue for tax reform then obama was offering. it was house decided -- it is fascinating how this all occurred. the former campaign manager deciding that the president should offer at least as much revenue as the six senators had, and that includes three republicans. the president picked up the phone and called speaker boehner the day before what occurred here. he said, let's consider $400 billion more.
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speaker insisted it was a demand. no one else was present. monumental communications lapse. it broke down on this day. the president was waiting for a call from boehner. boehner would not call him back. he said he was trying to work out a deal with the leaders. the next day, the president calls the congressional leaders to the white house and saturday morning, 11:00 a.m., the congressional leaders asked him to leave the meeting. the president said he was not going to stand on protocol as they tried to work a deal at the white house.
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it work for a while. harry reid backed away from the congressional deal and joined forces with the president. it is in the details that the decisions and the negotiations hung. host: lydia from illinois. go ahead. lydia, are you there? go ahead. caller: good morning. it was noted that reporters -- i think that's what you're doing. it is out there.
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newt gingrich devised the strategy of transforming the house as a way to drive the national agenda. it was outlined in a book in 2009 when newt gingrich was part of a group that met and devise a process to obstruct. mr. boehner was one of the key lieutenants. his following the process. i'm waiting for you.
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i want you to identify it now. we need information to understand the process because -- guest: i get your question. it's a good one. i assemble all this in a book at present before the election so people can make an evaluation. it has the details from what occurred over three and a half years. if he do it daily reporting of this, you cannot accumulate the information. i have found this to be the case over 40 years. the reactions to who obstructed or who did not do what was necessary. people had different opinions. this was politically neutral presentation of what occurred.
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some people will say the republicans were awful, they not unified. speaker boehner had the tea party which she could not control. others say the president was not aggressive enough and could not control the democrats. i point the finger at everyone but make the point, it gets down to presidential leadership. the president is the one that has to work his will or find a way to do that. in this case, he did not. you asked about the past and the future. the future is we're back in this mess again. the exact issues will come before us in a couple of months. congress authorized expanded borrowing up to the point -- we will be there in january of next year. the white house, whoever is there, has to go to congress and say, "we need more borrowing authority to the tune of trillions of dollars."
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everyone acknowledges this. host: we have a tweet on our twitter page from rightwing. guest: potus is president of the united states. you can see exactly what happened. it explains it. it has the back channel conversations, the notes of the meetings, and the interviews with people. just to take an example. part of the solution of last year would be setting up a super committee to come up with $1.2 trillion.
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everybody said this would work. harry reid said it was a sure thing. mitch mcconnell expected it to work. committee met. the mechanism was to come up with this deficit reduction. and if you don't, we'll have sequestration, means forced spending cuts immediately in 2013 in a way that is decided almost with a hatchet, so everyone gets cut. the super committee failed.
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host: james from louisiana. caller: who do you think is calling the shots in the white house? the thing it is valerie jarrett or the other end of the chicago machine. guest: the president is calling the shots. he is heavily influenced and the man who ran his successful campaign in 2008, the senior adviser and has the office closest to the oval office. geography is very significant.
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when there is a decision to be made, he ways and with the political angle. i would say his influence, valerie jarrett plays a role. there are many other people. the congressional liaison plays a significant role in all of these. i layout exactly what happened, what we used to call the best obtainable version of the truth and it is often emotional. at many points it is complicated. host: the influence of joe biden in these talks.
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guest: biden is critical on all of this. going back to 2010, after the democrats lost the house, obama center by president biden to negotiate with mitch mcconnell. in the west wing, joe biden is known as the mcconnell whisperer. he has the decades-long relationship with mcconnell to work out a deal. they worked out a deal in 2010. they extended some low income programs. the philosophy is kind of old school. "you get some and i get some." that is what happened in 2010. in may, 2011, they came up with lots of cuts.
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there was a private talk with joe biden and eric cantor. "if we were in charge, we would be able to work this out." they identified hundreds of billions of dollars of potential cuts but they didn't carry over the finish line. host: joe biden admits he does not like the budget. guest: he starts out saying he is not a budget guy. he declined to become chairman of the budget committee.
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he brought in a deputy and said, you are going to be there every day and giving me a tutorial and affirmation. you read those notes and the presentation i have and the book and joe biden mastered the issues. the problem as joe biden saw it, the republicans would not give on revenue. no tax increases. this drove biden crazy. caller: that is pretty funny. i was struck with how you went with, "this is the obama era."
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what stood out in your book was speaker boehner's office did not return the president's phone call and a lack of communication with the president. it is almost like there is a personal weakness to have somebody to dinner so what should we even do it? guest: relationships need to be built. i think president obama is right when a complaint that boehner would not return his phone call for almost a day. that is unheard of. the white house chief of staff goes swayback when he was an aide to tip o'neill in the
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1980's. he was appalled at the speaker will not call the president back and made the point internally at the white house that when ronald reagan called, the phone call was immediately returned. boehner's argument was that he had to put together a congressional deal. he thought it would affect the financial markets. that is his excuse. president said, "why didn't he just call and say, i am working on it." it was the silence that offended the president and the white house staff. boehner did call and said he was backing out.
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one of the aides who work with them for years said he was spewing coals like a furnace in the oval office that day. the worry was the president was so furious when he was on the phone that he would literally break the phone. scott pelley asked if he was in a phone-breaking mood. the president said he was very angry. i don't think i would have broken the phone. host: you write about it lack of deference on the democratic side, too. why do you think that is?
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guest: a lot has to do with harry reid, who goes to a meeting with the president on a sunday night at 6:00 p.m. go to the meeting and you can see what happens. one of the most interesting meetings i've ever reported on. harry reid has developed a plan with the republicans. he turns it over to his chief of staff who sits in the oval office and reads out the president and said, i'm disappointed in this white house and in you, that you did not have a plan b. they did not have a plan b. afterwards, there were arriving back from the white house and said, you did a good job. the president needed to hear it that.
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nobody was telling him that. the president knew he did not have a plan b. there was a scramble to get control of the situation. host: chris in missouri. caller: you are an insider -- guest: i'm an outsider trying to report what happened. we're all struggling. i was watching c-span the other day and they had the committee. they had jim bakker and banker, and on their trying to explain and get past this political road block we have, try to come up with what he said.
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i noticed one thing that the conference. they always talk about the gdp. it seems like those of in washington forget that outside of washington, people are working and that is what really drives the american economy. through that, i see they fail to understand also that this country seems to be going through a technological change. we saw the decimation of the music industry of which i am a part of. i am also a part of the commuter -- computer industry. >> if i may answer quickly, i think you're right. there is a disconnect between washington and the real world. when he referred to gdp, the total of goods and services in the economy, the problem is there's not enough. there is too much unemployment, not enough growth.
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people are not hiring. the are coming to this fiscal cliff reed is misnamed. cliff -- it is misnamed. though the government induced recession of these tax cut are eliminated so taxes go up. if the spending cuts occur the they have programs in for 2013, and will affect everyone. in the book, tim geithner argues to the president that if the united states defaults on its debt, if we do not straighten this out in the short run, hopefully the long run, that the impact on everyone is going to be giant. it will affect confidence, and
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employment levels. anyone who has any money or to submit getting any money that they have had invested in their home, bank accounts, any kind of investment, they will be impacted by all of this. we are skating on and living on the sharp edge of a razor blade. this all explodes not this week but in three or four months after the election if there is no fix. we are really in a giant mess. >> in an interview with david gregory, erskine bowles was asked about what is next. what we are facing here. here is what he had to say. >> i am frightened we will reach
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the fiscal cliff embargoing to bet the country. and take the high of a risk. that could lead to horrible economic results. i met with the president. i did not have any political fear. i did not want any jobs out here. that after the election he is prepared to negotiate with the republicans and come up with a plan that falls within the framework of what we've talked about. >> i believe that, too. guest: i asked the president about this two months ago and he said the proposals by the simpson bowles commission included eliminating some of the tax deductions or cutting back on them.
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the health insurance deduction and the mortgage interest deduction. the president told me those would be wildly unpopular among never pass congress. i think he's right. you need some sort of serious tax reform negotiation that would take months, maybe a year, maybe longer. reagan did it in his presidency in 1986. they were able to lower the rates and are virtually get more money for the federal government. it's harder now, but it's possible. this expression of confidence, erskine bowles and al simpson deserve a medal of honor for survival in pushing on the issues here. the problem is politics. this book is called "the price of politics" because when it comes to political calculations, they say we should not do
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something painful or, to use the president's expression, "wildly unpopular," he wants to get reelected. people in congress have the same feeling. we have not had this rolling up the sleeves engagement of stamina that is required that will become absolutely necessary in the coming months. host: middleton, new jersey, thank you rating. caller: all the tax credits they wanted to eliminate happen to be focused on people who work for a living. that is the problem. the last republican president that had a balanced budget was nixon.
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we listened to eight years of a vice-president, dick cheney, telling us that deficits don't matter. we had $3 trillion in debt spending that was not put on the books that this president inherited. he had one year of working with the last president's budget, which was insane. he was handed a nation losing 800,000 jobs per month. he had a mountain and a shovel. the republicans say you did not shovels fast enough. guest: ok. i think that's a fair point. i point out that the president was handed a floundering economy and a very recalcitrant republican majority in the house, at least for the last two years. at the same time, step back. speaker john boehner in one of the clips of their ran here
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talks about stepping back and looking at the forest. step back and look at the forest. this country has an economy which is in trouble and his bald, but compared to the other economies in the world, including china, we have got a lot of things going for us. if this were able to be fixed in a way -- you cannot do it all at once. you're quite right. you cannot put it all on the backs of the workers alone. you have to spread out therepub. but if you did do something like this, you give a sense of coherence to taxing and spending
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policy. it is the incoherence of those that causes everyone to say, gee, i don't know if i should buy a new car. i don't know if i should expand and hire a few more people in my business. so we are on the edge when we should have, to use your analogy, with the shovels, gone at the mountain a little bit harder. republicans should have made the mountain probably less in size. i could sit here with 20 experts today and come up with a general outline of some of the things i needed to be done. is in the end of the political will appeared to do not have the political will to get up and say we will have to take paint or you will not get their and as background music to all of this
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is the memory everyone has, particularly democrats with walter mondale running against reagan saying i will raise your taxes and mondale got slaughtered in the campaign. no one wants to tell the full story or the truth. the government will have to get revenue and the government will have to cut back some hal. >host: independent from missour. caller: in the end, mr. woodward, it is who pays for the campaign and i think you know that. first of all, since the tea party republicans took over the house in 2010, congress has the lowest approval rating ever. and after four years of obama, he is going up in the polls. secondly, i am sure that, since
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-- if the republicans control everything in november, they will -- they will not raise taxes on the rich one penny. that is who pays for their elections. >guest: if the republicans take over everything, it will be on their back to come up with some plan. you make some good points. there is a way. simpson and bowls, on the road to some of that. where we are now is in trouble and be in peril. what i have tried to do -- in the way, in the end, for a reporter, it is not about the politics of it. it is not about partisan positions. it is trying to find out exactly
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what happened. and there are things in this book that democrats the like, things that republicans delight. it is what happened. -- what republicans don't like. it is what happened. you can look at it and determine for yourself. on our facebook page -- guest: because the president is the leader. the president has this power. there is a phrase that george canning uses in his diaries. he is the famous diplomat who came up with the containment policy. and he talks about the treacherous curtain of
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difference. people will come in and the president has an aura, the capacity to do things that no other leader does. and you cannot say that it is the guy downhaul who is the staff or the person who is the speaker of the house who does have immense responsibility for this. there is a way to feed. i have cited this before. december 1941, pearl harbor is bomb. we enter world war ii. it looks really grim. it looks like we cannot possibly win this war. franklin roosevelt found a way to do it.
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leaders have to fix problems. i don't think there were 1% of the people who remember with the speaker of the house was during world war ii. it is in the president's grasp and the president has that responsibility. what is interesting is that i think president obama realizes that. i would expect governor romney, if he becomes president, would realize that, too. but that is where the book stops, as -- were the buck stops. host: mitch mcconnell talked about the republican main goals. guest: he is the tough guy. he said our goal is to make sure that barack obama is a
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one-term president. and he has been excoriated for that. we wanted to find out when mcconnell said that and exactly what he said. it turns out, would he also said in an interview was i don't want obama to fail. i want him to change. i want him to be like bill clinton. i think that changes or at least puts the quote in context. joe scarborough said, my god, we strung up a, for this quote time and time again. i think i owe him an apology. mcconnell was saying i want to work with this guy. i want some sort of change.
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of course, change in mcconnell cost direction. guest: that is a very good question. ryan did not play much of a role, although i have seen where he meets with eric cantor and, oh, my goodness, boehner is off the reservation. he has been negotiating things with obama that week, republicans, will not like. the rise in budget was something that was held up -- the ryan budget was something that was held up. obama does not like it and democrats alike. there is a meeting where obama calls harry reid and nancy pelosi to the oval office to lay out what he is wanting to do. and nancy pelosi, the democratic
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leader, is deeply concerned were worried that the president is going to cut medicare. she says, if we have a plan and cut medicare and democrats go along, it will make the republicans hold on the ryan budget and it will eliminate a very clear distinction, at least in her mind, between the democrats and the republicans on the very important issue of medicare. host: another twitter question for you. guest: well, you don't know. clinton, different personality, different circumstances. when i was leaving the oval office a couple months ago, having interviewed president obama at great length on what happened on the key points and all of these negotiations, he just said to mou